Theater events

Posted11/1/2013 9:00 AM

• Performances continue though Sunday, Nov. 3, at American Theater Company, 1909 W. Byron St., Chicago, for Michael Milligan's one-man theater piece "Mercy Killers" in a prelude to its off-Broadway run in January 2014. The piece centers on Joe, whose Tea Party loyalties are put to the test after his cancer-stricken wife loses her health insurance. Admission is free, but reservations are required at

• The 30-person punk marching band Mucca Pazza is among the diversions taking place from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, Nov. 1, at Redmoon Theater's 3rd annual Boneshaker, a 21-and-older costume party at 2100 S. Jefferson St., Chicago. It includes an indoor roller skate park, beat box artist Jame One, DJs, and food and drinks for $75 per person. That party is followed on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 2-3, by Skelebration, a family-friendly celebration of fall featuring roller skating, music, snacks, crafts and a four-person puppet opera titled "Laika's Coffin." Tickets for Skelebration cost $20 for adults and $12 for kids. (312) 850-8440, ext. 123, or


• Filament Theatre hosts former Chicago company The Bricklayers' national tour of "Don Juan in Vegas," a 90-minute, Las Vegas-inspired, mask adaptation of Moliere's drama about the famous libertine, "Dom Juan." Performances are Friday through Sunday, Nov. 1-3, at 4041 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. See

• Chicago Children's Theatre presents an autism-friendly performance of "A Year With Frog and Toad," about two best friends and the year they spend together, at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. Because the entire house is reserved for families who have children on the autism spectrum, there's no problem if a child becomes loud or active during the performance. (872) 222-9555 or

• The City of Elgin and the Elgin Cultural Arts Commission host the third annual FallBack Arts Festival, a free event running Friday and Saturday, Nov. 1-2, taking place at the Elgin Art Showcase, 8th floor, 164 Division St.; Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way; and The Side Street Studio Arts, 15 Zigler Court. Events include a movement workshop. a children's sculpture workshop, a landscape and pastel art class, a town-hall meeting titled Why Art Matters: The State of Creativity, among other events. Admission is free to most events, but registration is required at or The concluding event -- a 3 p.m. concert on Sunday, Nov. 3, featuring Solange Sior accompanied by 14-year-old violinist Sofiya Dyrylyuk -- has a suggested donation of $10-$30.

• Chicago Opera Theater and the Chicago Park District perform "Orpheus & Euridice" by contemporary composer/librettist Ricky Ian Gordon in the Eckhart Park Pool, 1330 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, on Fridays, Nov. 1 and 8 and Sundays, Nov. 3 and 10. See

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• The Museum of Contemporary Art and the Chicago Humanities Festival present "White Rabbit, Red Rabbit" by Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour, a conscientious objector who refused to perform compulsory military service mandatory for all Iranian men. Forbidden to travel as a result, he penned the solo piece, "White Rabbit, Red Rabbit," which is about power and manipulation as experienced by the generation that came of age during the Iran-Iraq War. Usman Ally, Fawzia Mirza, Yasen Peyankov and Michael Shannon take turns playing the role. Performances run Saturday, Nov. 2-10, at 220 E Chicago Ave., Chicago. Another MCA-Chicago Humanities Festival co-production is the experimental piece "Elephant Room," created by Rainpan 43 (actors Geoff Sobelle and Trey Lyford), which uses magic and sleight of hand to reveal how people suspend their disbelief when watching theater. It also runs Nov. 2-10 at the MCA. (312) 397-4010 or or

• Doors open at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, for Bailiwick Chicago Theater's Chicago Casting Auction, taking place at the Dank Haus German American Cultural Center, 4740 N. Western Ave., Chicago. The company will auction off to the highest bidder, 35 roles in its production of the musical "The Drowsy Chaperone" (Feb. 4-8, 2014). The speakeasy-inspired evening also features live entertainment, a silent auction, hors d'oeuvres and open bar. Tickets cost $75 and are available at See

• Kenneth Russell combines tap dance and spoken word to examine an artist at his low point in "Loved-Lest: The Truth of the World" running at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, and 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, at Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. (773) 598-4549 or

• Sideshow Theatre Company and Barrel of Monkeys are the beneficiaries of the next installment of the Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers event beginning at 10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, at Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N. Kedzie Ave., Chicago. See


• Tony and Emmy Award-winner John Lithgow brings his one-man storytelling showcase "Stories By Heart," featuring works by P.G. Wodehouse and Ring Lardner, to the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. Lithgow ("Terms of Endearment," "Footloose," "3rd Rock From the Sun") performs at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3. (847) 673-6300 or

• The efforts of the Scribonius family to rest at their country estate are thwarted by an unexpected guest and angry house gods in "The Romans: Episode Secundus," the second installment in Logan Square Theatre's staged reading series. Performances are on Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 4-5, at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge Ave., Chicago. See

• Members of the 1970s rock band The Rascals ("Good Lovin'," "How Can I Be Sure?") reunite for "Once Upon a Dream Starring the Rascals," a combination concert and bio-revue beginning Tuesday, Nov. 5, at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago. (800) 775-2000 or

• Previews begin Thursday, Nov. 7, for Artemisia's world premiere "Gambit," a two-handed, generational showdown between a U.S. attorney and her rebellious niece, at Signal Ensemble Theatre, 1802 Berenice Ave., Chicago. See

• The Neo-Futurists celebrate the 25th anniversary of their celebrated sketch revue, "Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind," beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, at 5153 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago. The events includes a craft beer tasting, food courtesy of Frontera, live performances and a silver anniversary film. Tickets for the reception start at $85.92. (773) 878-4557 or

• Plucky Rosenthal (aka vaudeville artist Alisa Rosenthal) brings her show "Plucky and Friends!" to Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, for three Thursday performances beginning Thursday, Nov. 7. The show features musicians, comedians and clowns. (773) 598-4549 or

• Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe, has extended its run of PigPen Theatre Company's hit show "The Old Man and the Old Moon," a uniquely told fable with music about a man who neglects his job filling up the moon with spilled light to follow his wife on her adventure. Performances run through Dec. 1. (847) 242-6000 or

• And the hits just keep on coming. The record-breaking Chicago run of "Million Dollar Quartet," the musical revue about the fictionalized jam session between Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and John Cash at Memphis' Sun Studios in 1956, continues through March 30, 2014, at the Apollo Theater, 2540 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 935-6100 or

• Citadel Theatre Company offers discounted midseason subscription packages for two or three shows starting at $27 per ticket. Upcoming productions include "A Christmas Carol" (Nov. 29-Dec. 29); "Hospitality Suite" (Feb. 7-March 9) and "Cabaret" (April 25-May 25). For information, see or call (847) 735-8554.

• Chicago theater artists from the casts of Marriott Theatre's "Mary Poppins," First Folio's "Cymbeline" and Mercury Theater's "The Color Purple" among others have collaborated for the second year on a holiday music CD titled "Season of Carols 2013." Sales of 2012's inaugural CD raised more than $35,000 for Season of Concern, which offers financial support, meals, medications and other assistance for people with HIV and AIDS. CDs are available for pre-order online at Additionally, the performers will participate in a concert at 7 p.m. December 9 at the Mercury Theater Chicago, 3745 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. Concert tickets are available at (773) 325-1700 or

• Light Opera Works announced the beginning of its 2014 season on June 7, 2014, with "Damn Yankees," the musical by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross (music and lyrics) and George Abbott and Douglass Wallop (book) about a middle-aged man who makes a deal with the devil to live out his baseball fantasies. That's followed by Jerry Bock-Sheldon Harnick's "Fiddler on the Roof" (Aug. 9-24, 2014) based on Sholem Aleicheim's stories about the residents of a small village in 1905 Russia. Next up is the revue "Cole Porter's Greatest Hits" (Oct. 3-12, 2014). The season concludes with Franz Lehar's "The Merry Widow" (Dec. 19-31, 2014), about the lovely Hanna who knows how to make everyone dance to her tune. Performances are at Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St., Evanston, except for the Cole Porter show, which is at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston. Tickets available at (847) 920-5360 or

• The Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation, the not-for-profit foundation of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, has named Court Theatre artistic director Charles Newell as the recipient of its 2013 Zelda Fichandler Award recognizing a director or choreographer who has transformed the regional arts landscape through his or her vision and artistry. In a prepared statement, selection committee chairman Chay Yew, of Victory Gardens Theater, had this to say about Newell: "Always giving fresh interpretations to the classics and committing to cultural inclusion, he has opened our eyes of how to view the classics in context with contemporary America. His work has inspired us all -- audience and artists alike."

• Goodman Theatre recently named among its new trustees, resident director Chuck Smith, who celebrates 20 years in Chicago theater this year.

-- Barbara Vitello

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